Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

October 8 2021 - Volume 43, Issue 8

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

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دوسری زبانوں کے لئے ، نیوزلیٹر کا ترجمہ کریں پر کلک کریں اور اپنی پسند کی زبان کا انتخاب کریں۔

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 12 - PTA Restaurant Day at Chick-fil-A Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel
  • 13 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 15 - Schools Closed for Students - Professional Work Day
  • 21 - Flu Clinic
  • 22 - School Spirit Day - Stuffed Animal Day
  • 29 - Pumpkin Run (Grades 3-5)
  • 29 - PTA Halloween Family Fun Night:Trunk-or-Treat & Fall Festival 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.


  • 1 - National American Indian Heritage Month Begins
  • 3 - First Quarter Ends
  • 4 - Schools Closed for Students - Professional Work Day
  • 5 - Fall Picture Make-up Day
  • 8 - Conference Scheduling Opens
  • 8 - PTA Fundraiser: Taharka Bros.
  • 10 - Report Cards Issued
  • 10- PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 15 - American Education Week
  • 15 - PTA Book Fair starts
  • 18 - Conference Scheduling Closes
  • 22 - School Closes 3 hours Early for Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 23 - School Closes 3 hours Early for Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 24 - School Closed for Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 25 - School Closed for Thanksgiving
  • 26 - School Closed for Thanksgiving Weekend

To subscribe to the CCES calendar on your smartphone, electronic device, or email system use the calendar ID

From School Administration

We are excited to work on our PTA School of Excellence project. If you missed the information in last week's newsletter, please find it in the "Information Worth Repeating" section below.
We had 30 surveys completed so far. The committee would really like more input so decisions can be made based on a broad section of responses. The survey closes Sunday. The committee will review the results and craft a plan of action based on the input. We will share that information by the end of October.

We just added a number of dates to the November calendar so you can start to plan. Shortly, we will share Parent-Teacher Conferences information including when and how to sign-up for those conferences. Although we added American Education Week to the calendar, we will not have opportunities to visit classrooms like in previous years.

Finally, we hope you can support our PTA with our first Restaurant Day on October 12.
Please see the information below.


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PTA Meeting

Wednesday, Oct. 13th, 7pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

In-Person in the Media Center or through Google Meet

Google Meet joining info

Video call link:

Or dial: ‪(US) +1 617-675-4444‬ PIN: ‪405 012 646 4033‬#

More phone numbers:

Community News and Programs

The Howard County Public School System's policy has a process for non-HCPSS community organizations to distribute information and announcements. These organizations are typically located in the Howard County Community and are focused on serving students, parents, and families in our county community.

Please click the Community News and Program button link below to access a wide range of programs based in our area.

Programs on the HCPSS website are grouped in the following way:

  • Academic Enrichment
  • Afterschool and Camps
  • Arts & Music
  • Child Care
  • Culture/Diversity
  • Environment/Nature
  • Health
  • Sports/Recreation
  • Tutoring/Mentoring
  • Volunteering
  • Other

The website lists the activity or event, the organization's sponsor, and the ages that the activity or event is geared to serve.

This link will remain in our Cougar Comments newsletter throughout the school year. Programs and events expire and are added regularly. Feel free to check it regularly to learn about area programs and events.

Literacy at Home

Have your child read for 20 minutes nightly to you or with a family member! See the image below for the positive impact this will have on your child.

  • Encourage them to read out loud. If they struggle, read the sentence and have your child repeat it.
  • Talk about the story as you read it. Ask questions like, "What do you think will happen next?" or "How do you think the character feels?"
  • Check for understanding after reading. Discuss what the sequence of events or ask questions like, "What was the problem in the story?"
  • Don't be afraid to read the same book again! Repeated readings build fluency!
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Maryland’s Ready to Read Act

In accordance with Maryland’s Ready to Read Act (2019), COMAR(2021), and the request from the Howard County Board of Education, all Howard County Public School System students1 in grades kindergarten to 5th grade will participate in a screener for identifying potential reading difficulties.

Howard County has selected Amplify mClass with DIBELS 8th Edition as the universal screener. Please see below for screening areas measured in each grade. Students will complete the screener in four to twelve minutes and will be screened three times this year during the windows indicated below in the chart.

Screening Dates:

Beginning of the year (BOY), October 25, 2021 - November 5, 2021

Middle of the year (MOY), January 18, 2022 - January 28, 2022

End of the year (EOY), May 16, 2022 - May 27, 2022

How will the results be used?

Performance is an indicator of overall reading status and is not intended to be an in-depth or comprehensive measure of reading. Just like using a thermometer to take a temperature, which provides a quick indicator of general health, these quick assessments provide information about reading health on particular early reading skills.

A student’s scores on the screener give school staff information about whether or not a student is on track for grade-level reading success. School staff can quickly identify students who may require extra help. Parents and guardians will receive a home report with their child’s scores.

Some information on this parent notification is taken directly from the Ready to Read Act and COMAR, while other content was summarized to reflect HCPSS procedures.

COMAR 13A.03.08 - Students at Risk for Reading Difficulties

Ready to Read Act Senate Bill 734

1Students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) with reading goals will not participate in the reading screening.

MAP Testing, Grades 1 through 5

The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments are computer adaptive achievement assessments in Reading and Math. As a student responds to questions, the test responds to the student by adjusting the difficulty of the questions presented, up or down, to the student. MAP assessment items align to objectives in the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards. This assessment is designed to measure student growth in Math and Reading, both during the school year and across multiple school years. The assessment allows teachers to see instructional strengths and needs for each student.

At the conclusion of the assessment, each student receives a score that aligns to an instructional level. MAP, in conjunction with other measures throughout the school year, helps teachers differentiate instruction within their classrooms.

Starting October 18th, students in grades 1-5 will take the Measured Academic Progress (MAP) assessment. The data from the MAP assessment will help schools and teachers measure where your child is starting the year academically. The HCPSS intends to also give the assessment in spring to measure how your child’s learning is progressing throughout the year. The MAP test does not affect grades and the difficulty adjusts depending on how your child responds. It is normal for students to only answer about half of the questions correctly. To learn more about the MAP assessment, please visit:

Thankful Thursdays

The PTA would like your help saying “Thank You” to our teachers and staff by signing up to provide snacks on Thursdays for the months of October and November. Use the Sign-up Genius below to be 1 of 5 volunteers per week to send in a snack big enough for about 15 people. It could be store-bought or homemade; it could be salty or sweet! You or your child can drop it off in the main office on Thursday or earlier in the week. Don’t have time but still want to participate? Donate money to our PTA PayPal account and we will pick something up for you! (Indicate using Sign-up Genius what week the donation is for and write “PayPal” in the comments.)
Questions? Email Rachael Kelly at


PTA School Of Excellence Survey - Closes Sunday 10/10/21

The Clemens Crossing PTA knows that a strong partnership among our families, school leaders, and community members is important to the success of our students and school. During the 2017-18 school year, we worked to earn the distinction of being a PTA School of Excellence.
We held that distinction from 2018-2020. Due to the constraints of the pandemic, we were not able to go through the renewal process. We are participating in the National PTA School of Excellence Program for this coming year. We want to strengthen our partnership between our PTA and our school so that we can enrich the educational experience and overall well-being of all students.

As a school, we feel that families should feel welcomed and empowered to support student success, and the PTA is a key partner for continuous school improvement. We feel Clemens Crossing Elementary School and the Clemens Crossing PTA can achieve that together—and the result will be national, state, and community-wide visibility for the positive impact we are making together at Clemens Crossing Elementary School.

We need your help! As part of the process, National PTA requests feedback from families, administrators, and teachers at two points in the school year—the beginning and the end. Your feedback will help us improve our family-school partnership and achieve excellence.

Please take 5-10 minutes to reflect on your experience at this school and complete the survey below. Choose from the drop-down menu for each question. The survey will be open through Sunday, October 10.

Does this sound like a PTA program you’d really like to help with? Join us! Contact either of us to learn more.


Ed Cosentino, Principal

Dani Gardner, PTA President

Howard County GT Program Parent Academy

Howard County GT Program Parent Academy, October 13 and 14, 2021

HCPSS families interested in the Gifted and Talented (GT) Program are invited to come learn about the advanced-level offerings available and how their students can become involved. The evening will begin with an overview of GT Education Program offerings followed by a question and answer session with Central Office GT Education Program staff. Elementary and Secondary programs will be covered on separate days. Families may attend one or both nights. Registration is required for these events.

Elementary Focus: Wednesday, October 13, 7 – 8:00 p.m., being held virtually via Microsoft Teams
Secondary Focus: Thursday, October 14, 7-8:00 p.m., being held virtually via Microsoft Teams

For more information and to register, please visit the HCPSS GT Program Parent Academy announcement.

From the Health Room - Flu Clinic Information

Clemens Crossing will host our annual flu vaccination clinic on Thursday, October 21. They will be given at NO CHARGE TO YOU.

Now, more than ever, it is important to protect your family through vaccinations.

If you would like your child to be vaccinated, please register BEFORE Friday, October 8:

Fill out the consent form online at:

1. Type your child’s school name in Search by Name then press the blue Search button.

2. Click on the Sign Up for Flu Vaccinations button for your child’s school.


Fill out a paper consent form:

1. Read the Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) and talk to your health care provider or the school nurse about any questions you have. VIS:

2. Fill out every section of the attached Consent Form.

3. Use your insurance card to fill out your insurance information accurately. Your insurance company will be billed. There is no co-pay or deductible. You will NOT be charged by us or your insurance company.

One of the best ways to prevent the flu is through vaccinations. We are pleased to join with the Maryland Partnership for Prevention (MPP) to offer flu vaccinations at our school.

You may give permission for your child to be vaccinated using (1) an online form at or (2) the hard copy form attached to this message.

We urge you to protect your family from the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get a flu shot. Please visit for more information about the flu vaccine.

*** Please note, if your child is anxious about needles & shots, the school setting might not be the best place to get vaccinated. We will not force students to take the shot at school. ***

PTA Trunk or Treat & Fall Festival

We no longer celebrate Halloween during the school day. Starting this year, the PTA will sponsor the first annual PTA Trunk or Treat & Fall Festival. Please see the graphic below and save the date!
More information will be out in the next week or two.

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Our school will be participating in the School Store fundraising program this year. This online program helps our school earn cash without students selling door-to-door, collecting money or delivering products. Over 400 merchants, including Sears, Target and, have joined together to offer up to 50% of sales to our school for shopping through

To shop and support our school, simply go to and select our school (151709).

Participation is key in helping get the word out about our School Store. Soon your child will come home with a parent letter requesting you to help them enter email addresses to friends and family. When you enter just 3 email addresses you'll receive a prize code your child can return the next day for a prize.

Thank you for your support!

Clemens Crossing Spirit Wear Store Is Open

This year’s online store will remain open throughout the entire school year and items will be shipped directly to your home!

In addition to promotional discounts that will occur periodically throughout the year, you can also save 10% by joining the 1st Place Spiritwear VIP Club.

You can browse the large selection and place your orders by visiting

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Reporting Absences

Absence Notes

All students are required to have a note explaining why they were absent. Please send an email to your child's teacher as well as

CCES Breakfast and Lunch Menus

This will take you to the nutrislice website.

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